Monday, May 29, 2006

Deuteronomy 17

Deuteronomy 17's very exciting - God tells Israel that He'll appoint a king for them, and the king has to get himself a notebook and write out the WHOLE levitical law, and read it all the days of his reign, so that he'll fear the LORD and lead the Israelites in the right way.

When God appoints a man to lead His people, that man is to soak himself in the Law, so that he fears the Lord and leads His people in ways of righteousness.

And God sent the promised King who fulfilled the Law, coming to be our righteousness, so we could be God's children, and follow our King :)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

God's exclusive demands on His children

Reading Deuteronomy, it's struck me again and again that God commands His children to worship Him alone. Then in chapter 12, He tells them they must worship Him where He tells them to - it's not good enough to offer a sacrifice in your own back garden, or eat your vow offering in your own town. When they settle in Canaan, God is going to set one specific place where Israel must come to worship, and this is the only acceptable place.

And it makes me think about the attitude I've come across alot amongst non-Christians - "I think God is big enough to accept me however I come to Him - it doesn't matter what I call Him or how I worship. It's sincerity that matters."

But in this passage in Deuteronomy I learn something about how God deals with people: They must come on His terms, not theirs. So it's not enough to be sincere, I must come in the only way that is acceptable to God. Under the old covenant, there was a physical place. In the new covenant, there is a Person. God has set Jesus Christ forward as the only One through whom we can come to Him. He will not accept sincere worship if it is directed through anything but Christ. "there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4v12).

Praise God for the precious Name of Jesus Christ, that brings me to God, and keeps me in Him for all eternity!

Monday, May 22, 2006

If God is not absolutely sovereign...

then suffering is to be feared. If God has not ordained everything that happens to me, and personally designed it for my good and His glory, then I have little cause for hope. If He sees bad things happen, and begrudgingly allows them, or is always trying to patch things up and make the best of a bad situation, then He is weak, and not the Rock that I can build my life on.

But praise God, He is in absolute control, He is the God of Abraham, the God of Job, the God of Paul, who does all things for His glory and His childrens' good. Therefore I shouldn't get frusrated when things don't go the way I want them to. I should stand with Paul and say I'm content in every situation, knowing that my Father has chosen it for me, to teach me more of Himself, to refine me, and to bring glory to His name.

I really need to remember this now, as I'm so prone to getting frustrated!!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Feeling icky...

So I've managed to burn out after a very busy few months (involving lots of meeting prospective in-laws!!), I eventually ground to a halt on Tuesday. I haven't been taking enough rest, and have been too eager to be involved in everything!! So anyway I found myself crumpled in a heap on Tuesday morning, having to cancel all the things I'd planned to do that day, and for the rest of the week, and who knows, maybe longer. I was feeling really sorry for myself.

Then I did my quiet time, and what should come up that day in Search the Scriptures but Psalm 13:
"I have trusted in your steadfast love,
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord
because He has dealt bountifully with me."

A big 'amen' leapt from my heart, quickly followed by a big 'sorry' for being so caught up in my own self-pity that I forgot all the riches God has lavished upon me, not least of all my salvation! Things may be hard at the moment, and I do find these down times frustrating, but God is still God, my salvation is still sure, and He still gives me many, many blessings each and every day that I should thank Him for!

Praise God for His divine appointments, for speaking to me even in the depths of self-pity, and gently lifting my eyes away from myself and up to Him!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!

I've been reading Hosea and Amos over the past week. Both prophets had a harrowing task, telling God's chosen people that He is no longer their God, that they have gone too far, and now they will face His just wrath against them.

But they also tell about God's plan for redeeming a remnant for Himself -

"I will betroth you to me for ever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD." Hosea 2v19,20

"I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them" Amos 9v15

And this plan is fullproof. It is eternal. This is the plan sealed in the blood of Christ! How thrilling that here, in the midst of His anger, He promises mercy, and an everlasting covenant with His people. Nothing can separate me from God, because He has betrothed me to Himself, He has planted me and nobody can move me!

Praise God that salvation is all of Him, and so I am absolutely assured that He will keep me to the end!